ORONO – For Darrius Hart his biggest influence is his father, even now when he’s only with Hart in spirit.
“At the end of the day I’m where my father would want me to be..so that obviously makes me a lot happier..then getting the CAA title and being where we are now makes me happy and I’m just hoping I continue to make him proud,” said senior defensive back Darrius Hart
Losing a parent can be a tough thing for anyone, let alone a teenager, but Hart experienced that loss differently.
“He passed away on a Saturday..and I was back in school on Monday..I had thoughts here and there about not playing football..but that’s something my father would never want me to do,” said Hart.
November 27th marks almost a decade that Hart has been without his father, but that time hasn’t changed how often they talk.
“I say something to my dad every day whether it’s ‘what up pops’..simple stuff..because I know he’s there..I got his name tattooed on me so he’s with me forever..and his legacy will just live through me..,” said Hart.
The line from Hart’s father that continues to stick with him?
“Stay true to yourself, never go out and try and be some body you’re not.”
He embodies that with everything he does.
“I didn’t want to change for nobody..and I think that’s what my father would want me to be,” said Hart.
Hart honors his dad not only with the way he carries himself, but every time he steps on the field.
“Anytime I really make a play or do something good I always point up to the sky cause I know he’s there and he’s helping me do what I gotta do,” said Hart.
This Saturday marks the biggest game for Maine football in Hart’s time as a Black Bear, and he’ll draw on the memories of his dad more than ever.
“I’m not really gonna face nothing harder than that until something tragic is sadly going to happen again..that happening really built me to last or survive anywhere without no troubles,” said Hart
If Hart gets the chance to shine on Saturday he’ll point to the sky, giving his father’s memory a chance to shine too.